Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Kaijumax, Season 6, #6

Kaijus are going mainstream in the US. Godzilla vs. Kong was a big hit (even amid pandemic closures) and Scalzi’s Kaiju novel hit the bestseller list. Zander Cannon has been representing on behalf of Kaijus with his Kaijumax comic graphic novel series since 2016. Now, it all comes to an Earth-stomping conclusion in Kaijumax, Season 6, #6, which releases today.

As someone who basically jumped on at the last minute, it seems pretty clear Cannon uses kaijus in somewhat the same way Chris Claremont employed mutants in
The X-Men to address issues of prejudice and tolerance. In the Kaijumax world, formerly imprisoned Kaijus agreed to defend the Earth from intergalactic invaders, sort of like a behemoth version of The Dirty Dozen. Of course, the terms of their service are basically one-sided. Their victories are pyrrhic and the human authorities are ruthlessly exploitative.

Yet, Cannon still manages to end the series with grace and a tribute to the kaiju’s continuing endurance. According to Cannon’s afterward, the series turned out to have “way more satire” than he originally envisioned. (Hopefully, that doesn’t mean previous issues were too heavy-handed, but that is indeed why this is just a one-off review and not a deeper dive into the series.)

Still, there is a lot of whimsy in the character design of the kaijus. They also have a lot character and integrity. In fact, the final episode displays a deft balance between science fiction and high tragedy. Cannon also identifies
Ultraman as his initial source of inspiration, which is a cool choice, and less obvious than Godzilla or Gamera. The entire franchise is probably worth trying, based on the merits of its finale. Definitely recommended for kaiju fans, Kaijumax Season 6, #6 goes on sale today (4/20).